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Est. April 5, 2002

May 21, 2015 - Issue 607

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The White Biker
Elephant in the Room


"White men with guns!  How did they get to
leave the scene - standing upright - whether
arrested or not, whereas Black men leave the
scene battered, bloodied or under a coroner’s sheet?"

You know what it is…white people getting a lighter hand from the criminal justice system than Black Americans would normally get.  We see it time and time again.  Usually it’s at the expense of a Black man’s life on video, but this time, it’s documented in Associated Press (AP) photographs.  It’s the biggest, whitest “elephant in the room.”

The good thing is social media allows voices from all over America to amplify that very inequality.  On Monday, police in Waco, Texas, charged over 170 people in connection with a deadly shootout last Sunday at a family restaurant. Nine people were killed and 18 were wounded when a brawl that began inside the restaurant spilled out to the parking lot. The killings were reportedly sparked by a long standing feud between rival motorcycle gangs. Those arrested have been charged with organized crime in connection with capital murder. Those people should have been charged long before this, but it’s clear that the government—local, state and federal - were aware of their criminal activities, but acquiesced to those illicit deeds. 

We’ve come to learn that the police were “monitoring” the gang’s activities, but didn’t do a damned thing about what might happen.  The violence is the latest in a number of deadly encounters in recent years among motorcycle gangs in the US.

I can’t say that these motorcyclists are “dangerous looking” and should be profiled, but if that’s not an acceptable position to take regarding these people, then why is it acceptable that other people are deemed “dangerous” and profiled with overwhelming acceptance?

Yes, we’ve all seen the images of the mass arrest of these burly, well-nourished men.  Anyone could, within reason, deem them as “intimidating” and even threatening; but strangely even, not one corporate media outlet ever referred to them as “thugs.”  I find it even stranger that Black men are often referred to as “thugs” whether they’ve committed an illegal act or not.  Just based on appearance, many right-wing Conservative pundits use the pejorative term with the greater intent of race-divisiveness—with great success.

I was listening to Tuesday’s Diane Rehm Show; it was an NPR on-air radio panel analysis of the event: white panelists, tenured academics and sympathizers of the truly guilty party.  I listened as a female caller recounted her memories of motorcycle gang members who gave away toys at Christmas.  Quit it!  Didn’t she watch New Jack City?  Some of the biggest criminals in US history used - and use - philanthropy as a cover for their illicit crimes - including banks and cancer charities!  I find it ironic that white people easily argue NOT to broad-brush all involved, in light of a single incident, yet quickly broad-brush Black Americans when one negative incident takes the center stage. 

I’ll unapologetically say that just because motorcycle gang members act in charitable episodes, that in and of itself does not excuse the fact that many deal in illicit acts as a means of livelihood - like any other race or class of Americans.  Many motorcycle gang members are white separatists who deserve to be marginalized even further than they are.  The arrest images show both racism, unequal justice and above all, privilege...and today's conversation further reveals America's greater weakness: dealing with racism.  Thanks to social media, the conversation gets reverted back to the real issue: white men with guns!  How did they get to leave the scene - standing upright - whether arrested or not, whereas Black men leave the scene battered, bloodied or under a coroner’s sheet? I’m simply asking. 

I perused the AP photo gallery and saw pics of big, burly, elephant-sized, vested white males sitting unhandcuffed. Some were even texting while police conducted primary investigations.  You already know that in Black neighborhoods, Black men - armed or not - are immediately handcuffed (usually with their hands behind their backs) and sat on a hard, cold curb and often worse, laid face down on a cold, concrete sidewalk.  Most are injured to some degree, like Freddy Gray was in Baltimore, presenting no threat to the law enforcement officer.  I’ve presented a clear snapshot of unequal justice.

Why is unequal justice a worthy topic this week? I’m talking about it to white Americans because I want white Americans to get real.  All of the “I believe in the unerring Word of God” talk is bulls#$% to the highest degree.  When it comes to living in the “land of the free” Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.

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is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble